One of the many great boons that Star Wars brought to the movie business is merchandising.
It wasn’t done on a huge scale before, but with the incredible success of the franchise, the major studios dove head first into the toy business, and for many even films, having a great toy line is a must, especially if it’s a superhero franchise.
Unsurprisingly, the demand for Man of Steel merchandise is already "on par" with The Dark Knight Rises, which even caught the studio by surprise. It’s smart to look at merchandising demand to try and gauge how the film will do this summer. You don’t need to build major audience awareness for Superman, everybody knows the character, and Superman toys could end up being the hot item this summer for kids.
As the president of Warner Brothers Consumer Products told the industry trade, "Superman will always be a pop culture icon, and the upcoming summer action adventure will continue to fuel excitement for this fan-favorite superhero across the globe." Another reason superhero fans and Warner Brothers are hoping that Man of Steel does well: Justice League will or won’t go forward depending on Steel’s success.
Indeed, League is still in the screenplay phase, and with Warner Bros installing a new CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, it may indeed be smart to wait out how Steel does before giving Justice League the green light. Then again, the projected release year, 2015, was set up so it could go up against Avengers 2, which could work out great, or end up cancelling League out.
Because of The Avengers, superhero teams are the hot thing right now, and Justice League fits the bill nicely. At the same time, if it’s not done right, it could end up a colossal joke, so maybe a little caution in this regard is wise. Again, there’s a lot riding on Man of Steel, including the future of another potential superhero franchise, so we’ll certainly be following its tracking and audience awareness in the months ahead.